What an Abusive Relationship Looks Like

Her side:

Since we’re little girls we begin to dream of a fairytale-like love story, the prince comes to sweep us away and we live happily ever after. We are strongly influenced by the stories we see in romantic movies, but what happens when the guy you once fell in love with begins to show a different side? A side of him that you weren’t familiar with and that love and trust turns into fear?

Many of us believe that if we were ever caught in a situation where our lives were in jeopardy we would quickly react and step away from what can harm us. The toughest thing about abusive relationships that entangle us to stay is the bond and relationship we’ve built during the time that the abusive behaviors were withheld. The feeling of dependency is hard to break.

When we think of abusive relationships, most assume it’s physical. Abusive relationships go beyond physical touch. In fact, emotional abuse is very common. The abuser can be disguised as someone who you wouldn’t consider to be harmful and easy on the eye. Here is a list of behaviors and characteristics that may help you to understand what an abusive relationship looks like:

  • Tries to humiliate or harass you
  • Constantly belittles you, calls you names
  • Extremely moody
  • Isolating you from friends and family
  • Criticizes the way you dress, speak, priorities, beliefs, etc.
  • Is unfaithful
  • Is unreasonably jealous
  • Subjects you to feeling guilty
  • Makes everything your fault
  • Throws and breaks things around you, sometimes punches walls or slams doors
  • May have a history of child abuse

From experience, I can remember being surrounded by many and yet felt so lonely. I thought I was being strong by staying in the relationship and not giving up until I was able to take a step back and see that the strongest thing I could do was to walk away from the toxic relationship.

His side:

As a young man we dream of finding the “Mrs. Right.” A woman whom is supportive, loving, kind, and one you’d feel good taking home to show your mother. So what happens when your significant other isn’t what you expected?

We’d all like to think we would have it under control, but when objects are thrown or you’re being physically assaulted, with her threatening to call the police and tell them you hit her, what can you do?

First let’s try and identify some traits that send up red flags.

  • Is every argument your fault?
  • Do they put you down to make themselves feel better?
  • Are you constantly striving to win their affection but find it to be an endless battle?
  • Is there anger beyond out of control or normal circumstances?
  • Has infidelity been an issue?
  • Are they constantly jealous? Or over possessive?

Try evaluating these things. Never try to justify someone else’s actions. Furthermore, ask a loved one or someone close for help. While it’s often you may have the feeling that you can’t leave due to your bond, life is better beyond this unhealthy relationship.

Whichever side you may be on, if you find yourself involved in an abusive relationship remember that you are not alone and there are resources out there. Reach out to a relative, a friend, or you can call Choices Women’s Clinic and we will do our best to provide more information about getting the support and resources you need.

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